Sitting in my cushy armchair by the huge fireplace in my tiny apartment, coffee in hand, I remember the first time I went sailing, 10 years ago.
My best friend Estelle had taken me to the beach, and we spent the whole day there, swimming, sunbathing, and most importantly, sailing.
But hold on. Let me start from the beginning.
When I turned my phone on to watch TikToks while I ate breakfast, I saw a text pop up from Estelle, my best friend.
Estelle: Wanna go 2 beach 2day?
Isla: Sure, what time?
Estelle: I'll pick u up @ 11
Isla: OK! See u
I closed the Messages app and opened TikTok.
I scrolled down my For You page and slurped a smoothie.
When I took a bite of my oatmeal, I decided it needed more brown sugar, so I stood up and went to get the sugar to put on it.
As I was walking to the cupboard for sugar, I saw the fridge, which reminded me to put yogurt and raspberries on the oatmeal too.
Finally after all the delicious sweeteners were added to my breakfast, I sat down and ate the oatmeal.
Scrolling through TikTok, I didn't really see anything interesting.
"Hmm, not much selection," I thought out loud. "I guess I'll just read instead."
After eating my now-perfect breakfast, I walked down the short hallway to my room.
My room is about the size of a closet, but I tried my best to make it cozy.
I had put up twinkling fairy lights, pretty pictures on the walls, and a hanging rope chair with a fake fur rug over it.
The walls were painted a cheery light blue, I think the paint chip was called 'Sky Dream'.
I instantly fell in love with the color, and thought it would look amazing on my bedroom walls.
And I was right.
I went over to my actual closet, which was even tinier, and found a cute midnight-blue tankini that I'd forgotten about.
I tried it on to make sure it still fit.
Seeing how good I looked in the mirror, I struck a pose, then laughed. "Sweet! It fits!"
I put on my white (kinda see-through) blouse to serve as a cover-up, then threaded my sunglasses through my hair so they wouldn't fall off my head.
Grinning at myself in the full-length mirror, I slung my beach bag over my shoulder. "This is going to be so much fun!"
I think I'm going to make a TikTok, I thought.
So I got out my phone and ring light and got to work.
Just as I finished editing my final product, I heard a knock on the door.
Must be Ess, I thought, walking over to let her in.
My hand is placed on the door, and I open it, revealing a curly-haired redhead with a galaxy of freckles across her face.
I hadn't seen her in a while, because she'd been visiting family in France. It had maybe been six months, but it felt like forever.
She and I were best friends, having gone to high school together.
"Sweetie!" She bear-hugged me, and only stopped when I said I was very squished.
Estelle pulled back and brushed her curls out of her face. "Ugh, I really should've grabbed an elastic," she lamented.
"Here, I've got one," I told her, glancing at the gel scrunchies on my kitchen counter.
"Great, thanks. This hair is driving me crazy!"
"Another reason why I straighten my hair," I joked. "Maybe you should too."
But I know Estelle loves her hair, she just pretends she doesn't.
"Oh, no. My locks are extraordinary." She winked.
I mockingly but kindly winked over-exaggeratedly back at her, which got a laugh.
"Let's get this show on the road!" Estelle exclaimed, pulling me out my apartment door.
"Okay! I need to lock up first." I pulled my key ring out of my cover-up pocket and fiddled around until I found the right key.
"Hurry up!" Ess hopped from foot-to-foot, almost to the point where I thought she was going to explode.
"Done! Let's go!" I shoved my keys back into my pocket.
"Finally!" Ess rolled her green eyes at me jokingly.
She pulled me into the elevator and pressed the button for the parking garage underneath the building.
Estelle grabbed me and took me over to her car.
She had parked in the spot next to mine, which I had reserved for her.
She jumped into the driver's seat and looked at me impatiently. "Well?"
"I'm coming, I'm coming," I said, hurrying over to the passenger side.
As soon as I buckled my seat belt, Estelle gunned the engine and carefully made her way out of the parking garage.
The steel-hardened curtain at the underground entrance to the garage rolled up, and Ess waited until it was fully up to drive out.
It took a while to get to our favorite beach, but it wasn't long enough to be boring.
When we arrived, I helped Estelle unload the car.
She followed me while I looked for a good spot to set up our stuff.
"There!" I pointed at an empty space close to the water.
"It looks perfect!" Ess agreed.
She spread our picnic blanket over the sand while I put up the beach umbrella.
Getting out our sunscreen and sunglasses, we were preparing for a fun day in the sun.
After a delicious lunch of decked-out hot dogs and fries, Estelle and I made our way over to the other end of the beach, where the sailing club was.
Estelle walked briskly up to the front of the building.
"Hello!" she greeted the young man there. "My friend and I would like to go out on the water."
He nodded. "Sure thing. Do you have your own life jackets?"
"No, we didn't have space in the car," Estelle answered, shrugging her shoulders like, What can you do?
"Okay, let me grab some." The man went into the sailing club.
Ess turned to me. "Are you ready?" she asked excitedly.
"Are you going to have fun?"
I nodded again.
"That's my girl!" Estelle cheered. "Now let's kick some wind!"